Key benchmark indices saw a gap-down opening following weak global cues as concerns over President Donald Trump's administration spooked investors. At 9:21 IST, the barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, was down 115.57 points or 0.38% at 30,543.20. The Nifty 50 index was down 45.05 points or 0.47% at 9,480.70.
The market breadth, indicating the overall health of the market, was weak. On the BSE, 1,022 shares fell and 329 shares rose. A total of 59 shares were unchanged.
Overseas, Asian stocks were trading lower as fears over the fallout from turmoil in Washington prompted investors to unload risky assets such as equities. In US, the Nasdaq yesterday, 17 May 2017 saw its worst one-day decline since the day after U.K.'s vote to exit from the European Union rattled markets, as turmoil in Washington cast doubt on President Donald Trump's pro-growth agenda that had helped to drive stocks to records.
Political uncertainty sent the S&P 500 index down 43.64 points, or 1.8%, to 2,357.03. The Dow sank 372.82 points, or 1.8%, to finish at 20,606.93. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 158.63 points, or 2.6%, to end at 6,011.24.
The administration is facing scrutiny about whether the president asked the former head of the FBI to drop an investigation, as well as questions about his handling of secret intelligence. The Justice Department named a special counsel to oversee the FBI's investigation of Russia's efforts to influence the 2016 election.
Back home, ICICI Bank (down 1.34%), Tata Motors (down 1%) and L&T (down 0.83%) edged lower from the Sensex pack.
Bajaj Auto slipped 0.49% ahead of its Q4 March 2017 result today, 18 May 2017.
Hindustan Unilever shed 0.23%. The company's net profit rose 6.19% to Rs 1183 crore on 6.39% rise in total income to Rs 8969 crore in Q4 March 2017 over Q4 March 2016. The result was announced after market hours yesterday, 17 May 2017.
Hindustan Unilever recommended a final dividend of Rs 10 per share for the financial year ended March 2017.
Axis Bank lost 1.12%. The bank announced that it has decided to keep the Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate (MCLR) of the unchanged. This will be effective from 18 May 2017.
The bank's MCLR for overnight loans will be 7.9%, the rate for one month will be 7.9% and for three months it will be 8.05%. The MCLR on 6-month loans will be 8.15% and for one-year loans the rate will be 8.25%, the bank said. MCLR on two-year loans will be 8.3% and for three-year loans the rate will be 8.35%. The announcement was made after market hours yesterday, 17 May 2017.
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